This dance is not as common
as it might have been at one time, appearing usually "in
one of the night ceremonies in March or during the Powamu."
"Usually the personator
imitates the step or motion and cry of the eagle to absolute
perfection. There is evidence that this kachina was imported
into Zuni from the Hopi and is danced there in much the same
manner that it is at Hopi. This may be why the Eagle may appear
during Pamuya on First Mesa with Zuni Kachinas."
- Barton Wright, Kachinas: a Hopi
Artist's Documentary (87)
Richard Gorman's background
is as varied as his art. As an artist his works extend from katsina
carving to abstract painting and much else in between. His ancestral
background is both Hopi and Navajo.
Although Richard is welcome
in both the Navajo and Hopi tribes, he is considered Hopi, not
Navajo. Richard's mother, Clara Pahoema, is Hopi and his father,
Bobby Gorman, is Navajo. Both the Hopi and the Navajo consider
children to be born into the mother's tribe, clan and family.
Because of the Gorman last name Richard is often erroneously
identified with the well-known Navajo artist R. C. Gorman.
There does appear to be a
distant relationship, even though when asked, Richard stated
that he is unaware of any. Richard's great uncle on his father's
side is Carl Gorman, the noted Navajo code talker form World
War II. Likewise, R.C. Gorman's father is also a famous code
talker named Carl Gorman. We are unaware of more than one Carl
Gorman who was a Navajo code talker!
Richard was born April 20,
1962 in Keams Canyon, Arizona and raised on First Mesa, Polacca,
Arizona. Richard had little more than a passing interest in art
until his stint in the US military. In his early years he was
a bit wild and rebellious, however, during his four years in
the Army he spent a tour of duty in Germany where he saw the
work of Bavarian wood carvers.
This had a profound effect
on him and he began to envision his own future as a carver after
his military duty. He states that his work is influenced by his
culture, both Hopi and Navajo, and other artists such as painter/carver,
Neil David, Sr.; painter, Helen Hardin; jeweler, Charles Loloma;
Richard is better known, by
many collectors, for his paintings as he is more prolific in
that medium and he relies on it for a more consistent source
of income. He states that painting allows him a greater freedom
to experiment and create. It is very therapeutic and soothing
Richard has shown his work
at various shows around the country such as the Pueblo Grande
Museum, Heard Museum, Eitlejoge Museum, Native American Film
Festival in San Francisco, CA, Kansas Indian Market , White Mountain
Native American Art Festival and the Gallup Ceremonial. At several
of these shows he won awards for both his paintings and katsina